Everything has been easier when it comes to my daughter, Aitch. Not necessarily because Doodicus is difficult, but it’s because we pushed ourselves to be The Best (or what we perceived as such) when it came to Doodicus. In other words, we’ve allowed ourselves to not be the Perfect Parents with Aitch.
One of the reasons she has been easier for us is that she acts more emotionally mature than Dood did at that age. For example, she’ll want some candy as we’re standing in a check-out and I’ll firmly tell her no. She may even ask again with that horrible whiney "pleeeeease!!" that’s like a rusty pick to my eardrums, but when I tell her no a second time, she’ll express her disappointment with an "awww" and that’s it. She moves on. Doodicus was, and still is, inconsolable the entire ride home once denied something.
Aitch knows what it means to "shake it off" and "let it go". So many times I see her take a pretty good knock to her head or knee that leaves me wincing in empathy. I’ll see the pain register on her face, but once the initial shock of it is gone, she often chirps, "I’m OK!" and she’ll go back to whatever she was doing. Gas pains will send Doodicus to his bathroom where he’ll curl into a ball on the floor in front of the toilet and keen for 30 minutes until it passes. He really is that intense.
So yeah, they are different, but she’s by no means an angel, in spite of what you many read and see on Facebook. Some of you may remember the major victory we had with her when she decided suddenly to actually use the potty for pooping. We thought it was a final hurdle, and we were finally free of diapers and messes FOREVER. Nothing is ever at it seems. While, yes, she has been most definitely mess free, we are not free of pull-ups. Every night she sleeps in a pull-up and I can count on one hand how many times she’s woke up dry.
But guess what? I’m not writing this to either complain or get advise because it doesn’t faze me in the least. If the girl takes another three years to make it to the point of staying dry at night, we will still deserve kudos. Dood had so many issues with accidents for so long that if it takes her five or six years? Pffft and a dismissive wave of my gnarly, dry hand is all the energy I can bother expending over it.
Take heart, my friends, who are dealing with potty issues when other parents seem to be leaving you in the dust of Competitive Child Rearing. Having a child who not only struggled with enuresis and ADHD and now maybe even a compulsive disorder puts into perspective what issues are really long-term and deserve more attention than others. Then again, I could be just too lazy and tired to worry about it. Your child should not have to be perfect for any one else, because he or she is already perfect to you, right?